Looking for Input from Investigators/Adjudicators/Suitability Personnel - Am I screwed?

TLDR : I mistakenly took trash computer parts from work while holding a TS, sold a chunk on ebay, was investigated by Feds, got Sued, got my clearance Red flagged for 18 months and counting, and now wondering if I’ll ever be able to get the SCI to my TS, or am I likely going to get an SOR.

Alright, this is a long one, just letting everyone know before hand. I will put a TLDR at the bottom and the top for everyone. It’s very likely anyone from my old position will know who I am because the entire command knew about my colossal mess up but screw it, going to tell the story and ask anyways.

I’ve been a DOD Contractor holding a Secret clearance since 2012, I was put in for an upgrade to TS in early 2016, and in Jan 2018 I received my full TS, but the SCI I was told would come after, so I continued to wait.

About a month after getting my TS fully adjudicated, I did something really stupid at work, I mean really stupid. I was in charge of decommissioning old computers from 2015-2016 time frame, around 40 or so of them, and replacing them with brand new 2018 models.

I worked in Afghanistan as a IT Contractor in 2013 and this same process occurred there, it usually was remove and degauss the hard drive, and then send the actual physical tower off to DRMO, which is a facility where old junk government equipment is sent. I was in Afghanistan and wanted to build a few media center PCs for people there so I went to DRMO and asked about removing parts from the computers they had on hand that had been turned in.

I was told by the E-5 Army Sergeant working DRMO that as long as I removed the internals of the computers such as the CPU, RAM, power supply, and left the physical tower with the serial number, it would be fine, thats all they needed on their end to junk the unit out. He let me take a box of old CPUs and RAM sticks from the facility since these are not tracked or on any sort of government receipts and he also told me they would just be destroyed anyways.

I built 3 PCs in Afghanistan using the CPUs and RAM from those junked units and parts I ordered from Amazon, and the rest of the parts were sold on ebay to the tune of about $1,000 ish dollars, mostly CPUs and Rams at 50-100 a piece.

Fast forward to 2018, Working as IT Contractor on a military base and when decommissioning these old PCs to be sent to DRMO, I removed the hard drives, Degaussed them, and logged them for turn in, then I removed the CPUs and RAMs from the 40 machines because I remember in Afghanistan what the Sergeant told me about them being destroyed or thrown out.

A few weeks later, I get a call from my supervisor at work asking me if I knew anything about the decomissioned computers sitting in the back of the storage closet missing CPUs and RAM sticks, because they needed to get one out and rebuild it because the newer machines they replaced were not compatible in some way with a piece of software.

I told my supervisor on the phone that I threw some of them away that had been damaged, and that I had quite a few at my home. He immediately drove over to my house and nearly busted down my door to get in, and demanded I give up everything I had taken from work, so I gave him a shoebox full of CPU and RAMs I had left over after building 2 cryptocurrency mining machines and selling some of the parts on ebay.

He took the parts from me in the box, he also took my SIPR Token, and my CAC Card. Later that day I received an email from my employer saying I had been suspended from the facility and my credentials revoked.

The next day I receive word that an Incident has been placed into my JPAS file under guideline J " CRIMINAL CONDUCT" and that the Air force OSI (Basically Air force’s FBI) has started an investigation into the components I took from the building. I started to literally have a panic attack at this point . I was constantly looking out my windows all hours of the day and night expecting to be arrested at any moment for nearly the entire year.

The OSI Investigation concluded late 2018 , and the result was to pursue a civil case against me instead of criminal charges, likely because I had a good lawyer and I had multiple character references of people I served with in Afghanistan who corroborated my story about the computer parts being open for grabs since they were effectively garbage. What i did would easily fall under Federal felony because the dollar amount I made on ebay was over $5000 dollars, which makes it a felony.

An out of court settlement was reached between myself and the Air force for nearly 4X the amount I had made on ebay selling these computer parts, there are no court records of this civil case because this was all done out of court via a settlement agreement.

The past year and a half I’ve had this Incident report on my JPAS. I submitted a new SF86 the week after the incident report was placed into JPAS because my FSO said they were requesting one, and on the Sf86 I explained the situation in full and why I took the parts, and summer of 2018 NBIB sent out an investigator to interview me about what happened. I spoke to this person in length for 2 hours about what happened, and apologized, and said this was simply a case of another mans trash is another mans treasure, except in this case you arent allowed to take that trash if it belongs to the government. The investigator leveled with me and said he’s seen significantly worse than this but he understood that I was confused, and I took responsibility for what I did.

I have retained my Top Secret clearance throughout this entire fiasco, and I’ve been working a cleared job at the SECRET level since about 2 months after the incident occurred and I was let go from my company. It’s been going on 18 months now since the Incident report was placed into my JPAS and I dont foresee it going away anytime soon, I feel like I’m likely going to receive a SOR and even in the rare event I get to keep my clearance, I wont be given SCI access, likely ever, because when a National Agency Check (NAC) check is run, when the Defense Central Invetigations Index (DCII) database is queried, my Air force OSI Investigation pops up, and when they get the copy of that investigation report, the Air force wrote it in a way that makes me look like a degenerate criminal scumbag.

Can any investigators or adjudicators comment on this or tell me if I’m royally boned for the rest of my career? I fully expect to get ■■■■ in the comments, but It was simply a mistake, and I paid for it with nearly my entire life savings from the Civil settlement.

I feel like my cleared days are over since this OSI Investigation will always come up with the government when I go for any type of Cleared job or GS/Govt position, even though it didn’t result in any criminal charges. I have no criminal record and have 2 masters degrees, so I should be able to get a job in the private sector no issue but I live in a big city where the Cleared IT jobs far outnumber the non-cleared ones.

TLDR : I mistakenly took trash computer parts from work while holding a TS, sold a chunk on ebay, was investigated by Feds, got Sued, got my clearance Red flagged for 18 months and counting, and now wondering if I’ll ever be able to get the SCI to my TS, or am I likely going to get an SOR.

You, I’m sure, got back advice in Afghanistan but you compounded it by thinking that things would be the same state-side. Even at that, there’s a big difference between striping the components after they have been turned over and logged and striping them beforehand. In Afghanistan, they likely trashed the computers instead of shipping them back to the states while here in the states they likely sell them as surplus. In-country isn’t the same as state-side.

I expect (although I’m not an investigator or adjudicator so you didn’t really ask me) that your SCI is gone. I can’t believe that DoD is going to let you keep your clearance without a fight. This means an SoR and an appeal which you may win. But, I think that SCI is gone. TS is likely gone.

My advice would be to start looking in the private sector. You’re going to have difficult time with cleared jobs for a while.

1 Like

Concur Ed, as usual. Though I will add until this post I never before heard of the AF NOT pursuing criminal charges, but pursuing civil charges. Interesting. I would think it rose to the level of crime or it did not. Likely the bar is significantly lower to prove civil liability so they pursued that. That said, no surprise on the Re-investigation. The fact you were NOT fired, and have continued in a cleared position…I think speaks highly to possibility of not losing the TS. One would expect a suspension, investigation, and then revocation post investigation. It may be a case where I often say “if it is explainable, it is understandable.” Bad advice, you followed what you believed was the norm based on past experience. Ed called out the very big difference between a deployed location and stateside. Normally government “stuff” remains government stuff until disposed of through Defense Re utilization Management office (DRMO or whatever the new word is). In theory the government is recouping money cradle to grave. In theory. I think if you add in management costs of that process…you are losing money. But, main point: if you have no other incidents, after 2 years I believe you can consider this a civil, settled manner. One that must be spoken to on the SF86. I would include all the paperwork, and lawyer information on every SF86 moving forward. If possible I would not pursue the SCI if that is an option. I would also not change jobs until this is resolved. Humans make bad decisions. You were held accountable, paid through the nose…and continue to add value through work. It may simply go on record as a JPASS incident and if nothing else happens bad…you survive. People only learn from these moments if allowed to remain and move forward. Taking ownership, as you do here, speaks to that. Even if you get a SOR, I would appeal. Lay it all out and get a clearance lawyer. Make the case you simply followed last order given, recognize now the rule set was different, but you paid your dues through the amount of money recouped. If they had a risk concern…you should have been suspended. That you were not and the civil proceedings are complete (just waiting on the government side) it would almost seem double jeopardy (almost) to also remove the clearance. Emphasis on almost. The revocation would be an administrative act not criminal so it is different. But I think an argument can be made you were held accountable, paid for it and provide value.

1 Like

You’re exactly right, I didnt understand the policy here stateside, and its exactly as you said. I was going off what they did in Afghanistan where they usually destroyed or crushed old equipment, so people cannibalized items all the time.

1 Like

Thank you for the detailed response. You said you dont recommend I try to get SCI, I understand why , but the base I work only really has jobs at the TS SCI level. What could happen if say hypothetically I dont lose my TS over this , but then I get put in for SCI and I’m denied. What would occur?

Honestly, that is up to the client. But since the legal process has finished, you need wait for the Re-investigation to finish. I would expect an interview with an adjudicator as well. I base that on them not suspending the TS. Continue to own it, be humble and wait until this plays out. If the decision is to continue with a TS, it is up to the client if they wish to read you in. If they believe this was a rash decision, not a pattern, and not likely to repeat itself since you paid dearly, you may very well get read in. If it were me, I would allow the process to complete, if I maintained the clearance I would stay where I was for a year, and then possibly seek a position requiring the SCI. It doesn’t require a separate SF86. Just getting read in.

Actually, The reinvestigation has been finished since sep 2018, a RSI type investigation was performed. According to jpas it started July 2018 which is is when I met with the NBIB investigator to explain what happened and then Jpas shows RSI Closed Sep 2018.

My case has been in adjudication since then, and my anxiety and nerves have been killing me. If I’m going to lose my clearance I wish they would have just took it from the get go , so I can pick up the pieces of my life and try to plan my next move.

It just seems weird to me they would let me keep my clearance for 2 years then eventually decide to take it. Has anyone ever leaked government secrets then continued to keep the clearance for years until an SOR showed up? Probably not

Questions: are you currently in position requiring clearance eligibility? Can you verify the current status of your clearance eligibility?

From my reading, it looked like you are no longer in the position; thus, your eligbility may be not be active. If you are not in the position, it is doubtful that your reinvestigation will be adjudicated. In that case, you will not receive Statement of Reasons (SOR). Also, it looks like you have an unresolved incident report, which you will need to get it resolved/adjudicated.

As for SCI, it is really at the discretion of the granting agency. Depending on the reason(s) for the denial, SCI denial shouldn’t have collateral impact on your clearance eligibility.

1 Like

Yes, current top secret eligibility verified In JPAS three times over the past year and a half via Privacy act requests to DMDC to get my JPAS/DISS files. Latest one I did was back in June.

I am working a cleared job now, have been for 16 months since this incident occurred.

That is the most well written story I’ve seen on here in a while. Usually it’s an incoherent mess.

No idea what your outcome will be but as Amberbunny said, it’s a good sign your clearance hasn’t been suspended yet.


Is your JPAS/DISS profile in red? Also, did your your FSO submit a Research, Recertify, Upgrade (RRU) request?

Yes , its been in red since the incident occured in Early feb 2018. RRU was submitted in december of last year a few months after the NBIB investigator came to speak with me about the incident and closed his RSI report out in Sep 2018.

RRU came back with “In Adjudication” , thats all.

every 5-6 months I’ve been submitting Privacy act requests to DMDC to get copies of my JPAS/DISS files to see if anything has moved and nothing has.

Don’t compare yourself to someone trading in secrets . . . For those people, it doesn’t matter much how quickly they pull their clearance. They are usually in jail and do not have access to anything else to release.

No, I don’t think that it’s unusual for you to continue working while they make a decision on your case. The same happens, usually, with financial issues and criminal issues.

Curious…with a moniker as Tokyo Sun…if you ALSO have foreign connections, family, etc…it may very well be what is slowing this down for obvious reasons. Having foreign family and connections in and of itself is not damaging. Having a negative infraction in JPASS is survivable. Add the two together and you have a more broad issue, requiring several layers of review. One where they need make sure there is no nexus between the two. Mind you I am merely speculating. Likewise if you maintained social media contact with third party nationals from time overseas. Again, in and of itself…not unusual. Add them together and it simply requires more thought.

Nope, I dont know a single overseas person. Born and raised in the USA. I just like Japanese stuff and thought the name sounded cool.

1 Like

Because your profile is in red, it is very doubtful that you will be given SCI access if ever unless you have an extraordinary skillset that the agency needs. I am not saying you will not be granted the access. Rather, agencies typically do not grant access to someone whose profile is in red even with active clearance eligbility.

Until the incident report is resolved/adjudicated, your options are limited. Given FSO submitted RRU request, you probably need to follow up with the FSO regularly or contact your congressional representative(s).

What about when the incident report is cleared off via adjudication and my name goes back to black, from red. (If this does happen and I dont get the SOR)

In that case, you stand a better chance of getting the access; however, it is not a guarantee. Again, the access is really at the discretion of the granting agency.

Hypothetically speaking, your employer requested that you be given access as an armed security escort/guard and you had a domestic violence involving firearm. You successfully mitigated the armed domestic violence incident. Although you mitigated the incident, the agency probably will not grant you the access because of the aforementioned incident. I should note that the granting agency isn’t going to tell you or your employer the exact reason.

The unresolved incident report can have a profound impact on you down the road even if you are currently in a cleared position. I am fairly certain that the contract, which you are working under, has an expiration date. When the contract expires, you will no longer have the need to know; thus, you will receive a loss of jurisdiction, which in my opinion is a persona non grata.

When you do, it will extremely difficult to get the unresolved incident report adjudicated unless a company sponsor you. Most companies aren’t going to sponsor someone whose profile is in red. Even if there will be a follow-on contract or future contract, you still have that risk.

In long run, I think your bigger issue is getting that incident report adjudicated than getting the access.

@Awoodhull , the Cleared position i’m in now has the contract until the very end of 2021. I’ve been here with the incident report on my record for going on about 18 months now, I know nobody really knows how long these things take to get adjudicated, but is it possible the incident report could STILL be left in anguish on my JPAS file until the end of 2021? That would make 4 years nearly.

I’ve already had first hand experience at the issues this incident report causes, I used to get job offers nearly daily from employers around town and as soon as this incident report happened, I was effectively blackballed from the cleared universe. I only managed to find this position because it was a brand new company and they underbid the living hell out of this contract so i’m making peanuts compared to what i used to, and nobody would work here in IT for the salary they were offering, but I took it anyways.